Beyond the lights. Beyond expectations.

Nevada is known for its bright lights, big cities, and bigger events. With the popular allure of Las Vegas, Reno, and Lake Tahoe, it’s easy to forget that there are other cities in Nevada that offer some exclusive experiences. There are many unique and engaging activities awaiting those willing to hit the freeways and travel around the Silver State. If your wanderlust is strong, then Nevada has some hidden gems for you to discover. Here are a few of the best things to do in the rural, homegrown parts of Nevada.

COWBOY ARTS & GEAR MUSEUM

PHOTO COURTESY OF COWBOY ARTS AND GEAR MUSEUM

The wild west comes to life at this nostalgic jewel of Elko, Nevada. Rich history runs rampant through this establishment, taking guests on a tour of the tales of Sierra Nevada’s yesteryear. Guests will be regaled with stories about Spanish Missions, California gold rushes, and ranching traditions dating back to the late 1700s. Along with these narratives of Elko, the museum also displays vivid imagery that paints a precise picture of the past cowboy legends of Elko. Be sure to make this diamond in the rough a stop on your journey through Northern Nevada.

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V&T RAILWAY TRAIN RIDES

There is no better way to experience Northern Nevada history than on a steam-powered train. With V&T Railway’s one-of-a-kind 24-mile excursion, guests will enjoy a fully-narrated, relaxing trip along the original Virginia Truckee Railroad right-of-way featuring beautiful views of the Nevada mountains and canyons.

When you take a ride on this transcendent train, you will experience true history and glimpse the area’s wildlife, including wild horses. You’ll stop in historic Virginia City where you can stroll the boardwalks and explore restaurants, shops, saloons, museums, underground mines and more. With a steam train ride from Eastgate Depot and time in Virginia City, you will experience first-hand what it was like to travel back in the olden days. V&T Railway offers an escape from the normal and a chance to embrace the nostalgia of Northern Nevada.

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SAND MOUNTAIN RECREATION AREA

PHOTO COURTESY OF TRAVELNEVADA

Close your eyes and imagine the largest sand dunes you can. Straight out of a movie stereotype. Now open your eyes and drive about 28 miles southeast of Fallon and you’ll see them for yourself. At the Sand Mountain Recreation Area, the Bureau of Land Management oversees an off-highway vehicle nirvana where car lovers will rejoice in one of the best off-roading destinations in the country. Enthusiasts have frequented the Sand Mountain for years because of its ideal conditions for jumps, dirt biking, quad riding, and even sledding. That’s right, sledding. With a variety of intricate paths to explore the mountains of Northern Nevada, these incredible mountains will captivate your minds and leave a ton of sand in your socks.

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Of course, there’s a lot more to Northern Nevada, but the beauty of these gems is that they are hidden. You should hop in your car and make plans to discover the undiscovered parts of Nevada. And with so many fun things to find, you’ll see that there’s much more to Nevada than just Sin City.